Is Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) dead?

COVID-19. It has snatched jobs, businesses, gatherings, festivals, the lower-half of our faces…but where does Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) stand in 2020?

The show will go on. But like most non-essential workers, it’s going remote.

Could this year actually be stronger?

Consumers typically save November shopping for BFCM weekend. This hasn’t changed. In fact, some stores can expect even larger sales as customers are more budget-conscious than they were in recent years due to the pandemic’s toll on our economy. It’s also likely that consumers aren’t just saving their November shopping for this weekend, but their shopping from months prior. 

Those annual Friday morning stampedes over the latest and greatest TV model or gadget? We aren’t going to miss them. And they aren’t going to be a factor in 2020 as online shopping will dominate even the Black Friday sales. Many storefronts will not be operating over Black Friday due to COVID-19 precautions so there is an opportunity for online brands to experience the greatest surge of Friday traffic yet. And Cyber Monday? Not to worry. Brands are brainstorming clever ways to capture potential customer’s minds and wallets in a way to keep them hooked over the entire span of the four-day BFCM weekend. 

Google reported that U.S. shoppers made 58 percent of their BFCM purchases online in 2019. Our guess? The percentage will only continue to surge this year. 

2020 just the beginning of digital shopping reliance

Despite the shortcomings of 2020, Adobe Analytics reported the total amount of customer spend across BFCM is set to increase by 20 percent in revenue compared to 2019. A recent Wells Fargo report found that 70 percent of consumers aren’t planning on returning to physical stores in the foreseeable future. 

In other words, holiday shoppers are already anticipating a stronger dependence on digital shopping after the holiday season ends. This might have a trickle-down effect that has the potential to carry on until BFCM 2021 and beyond. 

Google research indicates that 73 percent of U.S. holiday shoppers say they plan to do more holiday shopping online this year than they have in previous years. Seventy-seven percent plan to browse for all gift ideas online, indicating consumers aren’t comfortable going back to brick-and-mortar stores just yet.

Shoppers are exploring new brands, ecommerce stores reaping benefits

A McKinsey & Company study reported that as online shopping continues to rise, customers are also getting adventurous and exploring new brands. Since the pandemic, 36 percent of consumers have purchased from brands they’ve never bought from before. Eighty percent of customers who began using a new brand during the pandemic said they intend to continue using it once the COVID-19 crisis ends.

A Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce data found that in the first six months of 2020, shoppers spent $347.26 billion online with U.S. retailers, up more than 30 percent from $266.84 billion for the same period in 2019. Comparatively, ecommerce sales during the first half of 2019 grew just 12.7 percent year over year. Due to COVID -19, many ecommerce stores are already doing finding they are selling at the rate they were in past BFCM events without having to run BFCM sales.

Despite record-breaking unemployment numbers, over the summer Shopify announced sales had exploded, with a 47 percent uptick from the same quarter one year ago. Shopify’s crushing success is part of a larger narrative of sales going virtual for the long haul. 

Ecommerce stores, get ready! 

It’s not too late to start prepping

Are you an ecommerce marketer or store owner who is getting ready for an uncharted BFCM year? We’ve created a hub just for you. Visit our BFCM 2020 site and download a handy calendar to help you keep your planning straight, watch our webinar on push marketing for ecommerce brands or read our guide to get information on things like trends in buyer behavior, choosing the right promotions for your business, readying your site for a surge in traffic and more.